Banksy, unmasked? Was it really that easy.
A Banksy installation in New York's East Village went badly wrong on Saturday night (October 5, 2013), with one fan claiming it led to the identity of the enigmatic artist being revealed.
Banksy had planned an elaborate art piece inside a white delivery truck, though when the vehicle suffered a technical failure, hordes gathered in New York to see what all the fuss was about. The glowing scene featured a waterfall, moving butterflies, a shining sun and foliage, though it lost power after about half an hour.
A curious witness, Thomas McKean, 26, stood back from the chaos in a bid to discover the identity of Banksy, whom he thought would appear to try and fix the problem. He spotted two men hanging around the truck wearing overalls, "I'm pretty sure one of them was Banksy," he told the New York Daily News.
McKean had been anticipating Banksy's month-long exhibit Better Out Than In across the city and had watched the artist's website for word of when his next piece would go up.
"He's been posting where he is and I checked just a few minutes before 8:30 p.m. and saw he had posted a picture on St. Mark's place," said McKean. "I was like, I gotta get over there right now."
McKean got to the site quickly and as he pulled up in his car he saw two men - wearing overalls - loitering on opposite sides of the street. He says they kept their eyes firmly on the white delivery truck, which at this point had a few hundred people around it. Suddenly, the power cut out and the two men rushed to the truck, slammed the back and drove away.
McKean hopped into his car and followed the truck, which stopped at a gas station near 34th St.
"The two men got out and they were talking frantically on cellphones," he said. "They started playing with a battery source by the front wheel.For like 20 minutes they were fiddling with the battery trying to get it to work."
"Hey, are you Banksy?" he asked. One of men smiled, replying, "No man, I'm a truck driver."
In fairness, the men were more likely to be a couple of Banksy's assistants than the man himself, though head over to the New York Daily News to check out the photos taken by McKean.
A Tunnel Near Waterloo Station Featuring Artwork By Banksy
Work By Banksy, In London